Commodore Leon Smith and Captain W. S. Good, of the ordnance department, arrived at the fort during the engagement, passing through the enemy' fire to reach it. Both deserve great credit for their gallantry. Commodore Smith, seizing the flag, stood with it upon the ramparts, and stimulated the men by his example and words. I cannot too highly commend this sensible, heroic, and useful officer to the commander-in-chief, nor speak too highly o the services of Captain Good, who not only manufactures projectiles and ammunition of all kinds, but also is casting excellent brass cannon. This district could do little or nothing without him.
I arrived the day after at Beaumont, a strategic point, with a portion of the troops from the interior, and have since concentrated 2,500 men here, and greatly strengthened the works at this place. I expect their return soon with iron-clads, and hope to be prepared to meet them successfully. Had they got in, they would have proceeded at once to Niblett's Bluff, cut us off from Major-General Taylor, and probably advanced on Houston. Now it will be more difficult. The prisoners all stated that they were bound for Houston, and will yet get there. I trust, however, my dispositions of the available forces under my command will thwart them, although very small in number.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKEHAD MAGRUDER,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ., Numbers 154.
Houston, Tex., September 9, 1863.
I. The major-general commanding has the satisfaction of announcing to the army a brilliant victory won by the little garrison of Sabine Pass against the fleet of the enemy. Attacked by five gunboats, the fort, mounting but three guns of small caliber, and manned by the Davis Guards, Lieutenant R. W. Dowling, assisted by Lieutenant [N. H.] Smith, of the Engineers, supported by about 200 men, the whole under command of Captain F. H. Odlum, steadily resisted their fire, and at last forced the surrender of the two gunboats, Clifton and Sachem, badly crippling another, which, with the others, escaped over the bar. The result of this gallant achievement is the capture of two fine gunboats, fifteen heavy guns, over 200 prisoners, among them the commodore of the fleet, and over 50 of the enemy killed and wounded, while not a man was lost on our side or a gun injured.
II. The enemy's fleet, with his land forces, is still off the coast, no doubt intending a landing at the first favorable moment. He may endeavor to retrieve his losses at Sabine by an attack upon he works at other points on the coast. Should this be the case, the major-general commanding confidently expects to receive from his troops at these points as cheering a report as that which he now communicates to the army from the defenders of the Sabine.
III. The result of he engagement had with the enemy's fleet on the coast of Texas proves that true pluck and resolution are qualities which make up for disparity of metal and numbers, and that no position defended with determination can be carried by the enemy's gunboats alone. Should any of the forts on th coast or the forces on land be